Autumn has always been my favorite season in Colorado and this weekend reaffirmed that.
Despite being a little sore from the Lead King Loop last weekend, I continued a hard week of intervals and training thanks to Lindsay Hyman at CTS. On Friday, I enjoyed an easy day to prepare for the Golden Leaf Half Marathon on Saturday.
I took the last two years off from the Golden Leaf but three years ago I managed to pull off a win with a time of 1:45:47. My main goal this year was to better that time by a few minutes.
Training on the road with the kids in the Chariot has helped my speed on the flats and the descents but my pace on the steep climbs has suffered. This was obvious both last week and this week as I struggled up the starting climbs in both races. As the Golden Leaf course topped out and started heading down the Government Trail, I began to feel stronger and eventually found I could to push the pace.
Axel, Sari & Juniper at the finish of the Golden Leaf
I finished as the second woman in 1:47:52, four minutes behind Stevie Kremer from Crested Butte and two minutes slower than my time in 2008. After talking to many of the racers at the finish, we agreed the course was at least a few minutes longer than a few years ago so I figured my pace still was a bit faster.
Overall, I was happy with my race and how strong I felt throughout the 13.1 miles. I even managed to get in a brick of sorts, with a mountain bike ride in later that afternoon for an hour and a half.
Sari & Ian enjoying a rare ride together
Sunday continued a great weekend as Ian and I joined about 10 other Roaring Fork locals for an amazing fall mountain bike ride. The perfect weather and spectacular views quickly cured my tired legs.
As we descended a newly built trail, Ian and I were forced to make the decision to cut out and head back home to the kids. As much as we would have loved to ride another hour or so, we figured a five hour ride together was a sweet opportunity and we shouldn’t push our luck much more.
Finishing up the day with some family time completed the golden weekend. Here’s to hoping we have more beautiful days of training before I head to Tasmania for the Adventure Racing Wolds.
Golden Leaf results here.
Perfect day in the mountains in my new skin suit I picked up in Chamonix